GSE Professor Heads Project to Improve Education

Posted: March 30, 2001 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Muneeza Alam

Donna Sterling, Graduate School of Education (GSE), is directing a project to increase Virginia math and science teachers’ understanding of measurement concepts. The goal of Measurement Skills and Data Analysis in Science and Mathematics is to enable the teachers to instruct students on using measuring devices accurately and precisely, reporting and recording data appropriately, and manipulating data according to standard practices agreed upon nationally and internationally.

Sterling received a $70,000 grant for the project from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia under the Federal Eisenhower Professional Development Program. The project was proposed as a result of the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessment and the Third International Mathematics and Science Study that reported U.S. students perform worse in mathematics than students in 41 countries, and measurement is the lowest scoring of all areas in mathematics for U.S. students in elementary and middle schools.

As part of the project, 120 math and science teachers of grades 4-8 in 21 school districts across Virginia attend a one-week summer course in their district taught by instructors from state colleges and universities partnering in the project with George Mason. Partners include the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition, the College of William and Mary, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia, and several local school districts.

“Adults commit the same errors students often make. After taking our course, teachers will recognize these errors and be able to enhance their teaching strategies through this recognition,” says Sterling.

Write to at